Have you ever met a roboticist who builds robots to help people doing dangerous jobs? What about a physicist who uses tiny magnets to help treat cancer?
This is just some of the work our Superstars of STEM are doing across a wide range of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) roles.
Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic announced the latest cohort of 60 women and non-binary people to be the latest Superstars of STEM.
Some of the amazing new Superstars of STEM include:
- Dr Elahe Abdi, a roboticist from Monash University who builds robots to help people doing demanding or dangerous jobs
- Dr Karen Livesey, a physicist from the University of Newcastle who uses tiny magnets to help treat cancer
- Dr Grace Vincent, a sleep scientist from CQ University who is helping shift workers, emergency responders and new parents to battle chronic sleep deprivation
- Tiahni Adamson, a Kuarareg Torres Strait Islander wildlife conservation biologist who combats climate change in her company’s work to develop emissions-slashing seaweed for use in livestock feed and in partnerships with First Nations communities
- Dr Adelle Goodwin, an astrophysicist from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research who studies what happens when stars are destroyed by supermassive black holes to better understand our universe.
The program, run by Science & Technology Australia (STA), is helping to raise the profile of Australian women and non-binary people in STEM and encourage diversity in STEM. It provides media training, mentoring and networking for these Superstars. It also provides opportunities for them to use their new advanced communication skills to inspire the next generation of STEM students and professionals.
Since 2017, the program has created 150 Superstars of STEM. This latest cohort will join the program in 2023 and 2024.
By increasing the visibility of women in STEM, the program is closing the gender gap in STEM-related media coverage, and creating role models for girls and young women. The program has engaged over 60,000 students across 305 schools to date.
The Superstars of STEM initiative is one of many programs the government is supporting to increase the visibility of women in STEM. Our department is providing $3.1 million to STA from 2017–18 to 2024–25 to administer this program. It is part of our Advancing Women in STEM Strategy.
A review of existing government programs and investments is also currently underway to boost greater diversity in STEM fields.